By definition, democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. This definition needs to be followed for democracy to have any meaning to the people. It is the duty of the leadership to see to it that government policies are democratic.
People of Malawi attained multiparty democracy in 1994 under the leadership of Bakili Muluzi. It was not easy to reach this stage. In the process of fighting democracy, some Malawians were forced to go into exile where life was full of struggles.
When Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda saw that the call for democracy was getting bigger and louder, he called for a referendum which led to the multiparty election in 1994. Kamuzu conceded defeat before counting of the votes finished. As it were, the transition to Muluzi was very smooth. This is unlike what is happening in a democracy, where there have been claims of vote rigging in one way or the other.
Meanwhile, meaningful democracy has failed in Malawi due to leadership greed which has made them to fail to come up with a government for the people. It is obvious, at the moment, that the majority of Malawians feel that the government is not for them; otherwise, the leadership could have been listening to them about their problems.
As a result, the fight for change for an inclusive democracy is getting more serious.
Whether it is by design or not, the people of Malawi have felt more divided by the two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) governments under the Mutharika brothers.
For example, during the Bingu wa Mutharika era, the government secured some money to lend to youths in the country so that they could start businesses. This was good, however, Bingu emphasised that his priority was DPP youths or cadets. He said this without any remorse or being apologetic. He said that as a father he hads to take care of his children [cadets] first.
Unfortunately, such segregation was extended to other areas as well such as lucrative government positions and appointments to foreign service. Securing government contracts and other privileges were a preserve for the chosen few.
Apparently, the current DPP government, under Peter Mutharika, just continued from where Bingu left.
The result is that there is no equality and, by extension, there is no unity at all. Most Malawians might be wondering whether this government is for the people.
Malawians have talked and complained to no avail. Now that people feel short-changed by government, they have no choice but to continue fighting for change to a meaningful democracy.
So far signs are there that people want change. Imagine how people even in rural areas were glued to radios following the election case which nullified the Mutharika presidency. The interest was so overwhelming even more so that Malawi broke a record in Africa by nullifying a president who was already sworn in.
Honestly speaking, the leadership change that Malawians want is not just change of guard, but to change to a government which will be for all Malawians regardless of party, tribal and regional affiliation. Everyone must be treated equally, with no sacred cows.
Getting basic things such as food, clean water, medicines at public hospitals should not be a struggle. The new leadership must be up to the mark and refrain from wasting time with political projects such as community colleges, which so far have a dead end. Malawians want a government for the people and will get it one day.